Solar Builder

SEP-OCT 2018

Solar Builder focuses on the installation/construction of solar PV systems. We cover the latest PV technology (modules, mounting, inverters, storage, BOS) and equip installers/contractors with tips and tools to make informed purchasing decisions.

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12 S E P T E M B E R / O C TO B E R 2 0 1 8 IN THE NEWS The Business Renewables Center (BRC), a membership program at Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), reports that corporate renewable energy procurement reached a new record in 2018, with 3.57 gigawatts (GW ) of clean energy projects announced this year to date in the United States. This number exceeds both the 3.12 GW record set in 2015, the highest previ- ous year, and the 2.89 GW contracted for in 2017. "We are bearing witness to unprece- dented growth in this market, which is critical to achieving the goal of a clean, prosperous and secure low-carbon econo- my," said Jon Creyts, managing director at Rocky Mountain Institute. The announcement highlights the growth of corporate-backed renewable energy transactions, which have totaled 13.52 GW in the U.S. since 2008, accord- ing to data collected by RMI's Business Renewables Center. To date, BRC mem- ber companies have been involved in 99 percent of all U.S.-based nonutility trans- actions for renewable energy, and the number of corporates contracting directly for clean energy has grown from just four companies in 2013 to nearly 60 companies today. Facebook was responsible for 2018's record-tipping deal with its announcement on July 18, 2018 to purchase 437 MW of solar energy from Pacific Power for a data center in Oregon. Facebook is one of 140 companies that have pledged to purchase 100 percent renewable energy over the next few decades via the RE100 pledge. It's worth noting that this clashes with GTM Research's forecast that corporate solar would slump in 2018 as the market readjusts to the tariffs. Plus, both distrib- uted generation and offsite solar had mas- sive years in 2016 and 2017 because of the anticipated expiration of the federal Investment Tax Credit. We asked Kevin Haley, program man- ager at the BRC to explain what may have changed from GTM's forecast last April to now. He thinks the initial concerns around how tariffs and policy issues would affect off-site corporate solar were over- stated. "RMI's Business Renewables Center, which focuses on off-site procurement, has been predicting growth for 2018 since the beginning of the year, based on conversa- tions with our buyer members and moti- vating factors like renewable energy com- mitments that are unique to the corporate off-take market," he told us. Furthermore, when the center surveyed its members in April regarding the tariffs, Corporate solar New records set in corporate adoption of clean energy

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